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HomeHealthHow Often Can You Use A Nebulizer For Asthma

How Often Can You Use A Nebulizer For Asthma

Breathing Treatments For Asthma

Asthma treatment usually has two parts. The first involves fast-acting medication for flare-ups. The second includes preventive treatments to avoid those flare-ups.

The most common medication used to treat asthma is . Its a short-acting drug that provides almost instant relief during an asthma attack. It can be delivered through either an inhaler or a nebulizer.

Nebulizer Treatments Work Faster

According to , Albuterol, the most common bronchodilator used to treat inflammation in the airways, starts working approximately five minutes after you begin your nebulizer treatment. However, if you were to take the same medicine orally, it would take around 30 minutes for it to begin working. This is because medications that are taken orally have to be broken down by the digestive system first before they enter the bloodstream and circulate to where they need to be. In contrast, medications that are inhaled via a nebulizer bypass the digestive system and head immediately to the source of inflammation providing much faster relief. 

If youre having an asthma attack or having trouble breathing, just a few minutes can feel like an eternity, which is why delivering respiratory medicines via a nebulizer can give you peace of mind much more quickly. Also, using a nebulizer can ensure that your medication gets where it needs to beyour lungs and the source of inflammationrather than being wasted at the back of your throat.



Does It Work Like An Inhaler

The concept of an inhaler and a nebulizer is the same. They both work to deliver treatment directly into the lungs. In terms of function, a portable nebulizer works similarly to an inhaler. However, some differences in usage differentiate the two.

The most common type of inhaler involves inhaling a given amount of medication using a mouthpiece. The spacers in inhalers make it easy for patients to inhale the required amount of medication.

The main difference between an inhaler and a nebulizer is that a nebulizer is easier to use. It delivers medication easier compared to an inhaler. However, the user has to sit still for about 10 minutes for the medication to be dispensed.

Whilst there are portable nebulizers, they are relatively larger than inhalers, thus, making them difficult to carry around.

Common Questions About Salbutamol Inhalers

Salbutamol is a type of medicine called a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing the muscles of the airways into the lungs, which makes it easier to breathe.

When you have a puff of your salbutamol inhaler it works almost straight away to make your breathing easier. It carries on working for about 5 hours.

Most people will use salbutamol for many years. Once your breathing is better, it may be possible for you or your child to use salbutamol less often. But you should always have your salbutamol inhaler with you so you can use it as soon as you have breathing problems.

Do not stop taking salbutamol unless your doctor tells you to. If you stop taking salbutamol your breathing problems could get worse. Even if you only have to use salbutamol occasionally, keep your inhaler with you all the time in case you have a sudden attack.

Salbutamol is a type of medicine called a bronchodilator.

Almost everyone who has asthma or COPD is prescribed a bronchodilator inhaler or “reliever” inhaler to help their breathing.

There are 2 main bronchodilators:

  • salbutamol

Do You Still Need A Nebuliser

Portable Nebulizer is a Device You Need to Have a Soundly ...

A nebuliser is no longer the recommended way for most people to take their asthma medications.

All the latest research shows that a puffer with spacer works just as well as a nebuliser for treating asthma symptoms, including during an asthma flare-up.

A puffer with spacer is also easier, faster and cheaper, is much more portable, and reduces the potential for side-effects.

If you still use a nebuliser for taking asthma medications whether day-to-day or just when symptoms flare up talk to your doctor about making the switch.

How To Use A Nebulizer For Asthma

editorial processDaniel More, MD

Daniel More, MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist. He is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and currently practices at Central Coast Allergy and Asthma in Salinas, California.

Medical Review Board

Nebulizers or “breathing machines”, as they are often referred to by patients, are devices that allow you to aerosolize liquid asthma medication and inhale it directly into your lungs as a mist. This allows the medication to get to your lungs directly where it is needed most. Additionally, when delivered in this fashion, you may see the medication begin to take effect sooner and you may have fewer systemic side effects. Metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers are the other primary mechanisms for aerosolized treatment.

While some patients feel their asthma improves more with a nebulizer compared to an inhaler with a spacer, this has never been proven.

Types of used for asthma medicine include:

  • jet nebulizers
  • ultrasonic nebulizers
  • mesh nebulizers

The number of different factors including cost, your preferences, and your doctor’s preferences will determine which nebulizer is best for you. The kind of asthma medication prescribed also determines which nebulizer can be used. Talk to your doctor about your situation and your needs, then select the machine that suits you best.

What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Keep unused vials of nebulizer solution in the foil pouch until you are ready to use them. Store nebulizer solution vials in the refrigerator or at room temperature away from excess heat and moisture . Store the the inhaler at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture . Do not puncture the aerosol canister, and do not discard it in an incinerator or fire.

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

Chapter 33: How Many Times A Day Can I Safely Use My Bronchodilator Inhaler

Bronchodilators are medications that relieve asthma symptoms by causing the muscles that surround the airways to relax, thereby opening the breathing passageways. Commonly used bronchodilator inhalers are albuterol , metaproterenol , and pirbuterol .

The medications in all of these bronchodilator inhalers are said to work for about 4-6 hours after you use them. Therefore, the simple answer to the question above is that it is safe to use these inhalers 4-6 times per day.

is the exception. Its effect lasts for approximately 12 hours and, therefore, should not be used more than twice per day. The remarks that follow doNOT pertain to salmeterol. Salmeterol should never be used for quick relief of symptoms of asthma.)

The situation changes when asthma flares up and you are having an attack. If you have ever been to the Emergency Department of a hospital for your asthma, you know that bronchodilator medications can be given safely as often as every 20 minutes for quick relief of an asthma attack. The same is true at home. If you are having worsened asthma symptoms and need quick relief, you can safely use your inhaler as often as every 30-60 minutes for 2-3 hours without significant risk of harmful side effects. In particular, unless you have a known serious heart condition, there is no danger to your heart when using bronchodilator inhalers with this frequency for a short period of time.

Let us know your thoughts on Breath of Fresh Air! Partners Asthma Center

What Is A Nebuliser

A nebuliser is a device that can deliver high doses of medicines quickly and easily.

It works by changing liquid medicine into a fine mist. This mist can then be breathed in through a facemask or mouthpiece.

Anyone can be given medicine through a nebuliser. For babies and small children, different size facemasks can be used. For older children and adults, either a facemask or a mouthpiece can be used.

Who Can Benefit From A Nebuliser

As part of your treatment, you might be offered medications delivered by a nebuliser.

They will be specific to your condition. If you live with:

  •  – Nebulisers can be used to deliver medications to help reduce the thickness of your phlegm so it’s easier to cough it out, and to deliver antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection.
  • Cystic fibrosis – Nebulisers are used to deliver medications to control the build-up of mucus and other symptoms if you have cystic fibrosis.
  •  – There is no evidence that nebulisers are more effective at delivering drugs than handheld inhalers as part of your usual treatment. But you may use a nebuliser in hospital if you have a severe flare-up. Your consultant may decide to arrange a nebuliser for you to use at home in some circumstances.

Nebulisers can also be used in palliative care and to give drugs to very young children, such as those with viral .

If you have , your health care professional is unlikely to say you need to use a nebuliser at home. The latest research shows using a spacer reliever inhaler is easier and just as effective.

When To Use A Nebulizer

If you arent getting the full benefit of an inhaler, your doctor may recommend using a nebulizer. A nebulizer is a machine that changes liquid medicine into a mist you can inhale. You simply breathe through the mouthpiece while the machine does the work. The mist delivers your asthma medicine into your lungs as you inhale and exhale.

You can use a nebulizer to take long-term control, or maintenance asthma medicines. Inhaled corticosteroids are the most common type of long-term control medicine. They are powerful anti-inflammatory medicines that you use on a regular basis. There are several choices in the corticosteroid class of drugs that you can use in a nebulizer. You can also use cromolyn sodium in a nebulizer. Cromolyn prevents your body from releasing substances involved in inflammation. It is an alternative to inhaled corticosteroids. Typically, you use these medicines twice daily.

Nebulizers can also deliver quick-relief, or rescue, medicines for asthma attacks. Short-acting beta agonists are common rescue medicines. There are several of them that come as a nebulizer solution. Your will tell you when to use rescue medicines and how often to use them. Your asthma action plan will also outline the steps you need to take if your rescue medicine doesn’t seem to be helping.

What Conditions Can I Use A Nebulized Therapy For

There are a number of respiratory conditions that you can use nebulizers for. Whether they are chronic or acute, a nebulizer can help reduce inflammation in your airways and open them up so that you can breathe better. You can use nebulizers for COPD, asthma, allergies, and more.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the conditions you can use a portable nebulizer machine for:

  • Allergies

Your doctor can help you determine whether breathing nebulizers would be beneficial for your condition.

For Asthma Patients The Novel Coronavirus Can Be Scary

Can You Give A Baby A Breathing Treatment While They

The new coronavirus ability to wreak havoc in the lungs is raising a lot of concerns and questions from my patients. They already know how it feels to have trouble breathing. Now, they are wondering what risks they face amid this new pandemic.

Some worry that their asthma inhalers could increase their risk of COVID-19 infection. Others are asking if nebulizers are safe, and if they can use expired inhalers.

Here are answers to some of the common questions Im hearing as an allergist.

Breathing Treatments For Copd

COPD is a group of inflammatory lung diseases that restrict airflow to the lungs. and chronic bronchitis are two of the most common types of COPD.

Bronchodilators and corticosteroids are two common breathing treatments for COPD. Bronchodilators help open up your airways. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation. Theyre often used together in COPD treatment.

Both bronchodilators and corticosteroids can be taken through either an inhaler or nebulizer. While some studies suggest that nebulizers may be more effective at treating COPD symptoms, there isnt enough evidence to say that one is better than the other.

Theres some that combining nebulizer treatments during the morning and evening with midday inhaler use may be a better treatment option for COPD.

Other treatments for COPD include:

  • heart palpitations

However, albuterol may have fewer side effects when taken through an inhaler.

Nebulizers are often used in an emergency setting because they deliver the medication faster. They can also increase some side effects, such as anxiety and tremor.

Ask your doctor about any possible side effects before you start a breathing treatment. They may be able to offer tips on ways you can reduce them.

Which Nebulizer Is Right For Me

This may be determined by what your insurance plan will cover, but a number of different points are covered below. Some medications, like budesonide, can only be delivered in certain nebulizer types.

Jet nebulizers deliver medication via a liquid mist of medication inhaled through a mouthpiece. The liquid mist is created using compressed air and the medication is then inhaled into the lungs. These nebulizers can be large, bulky and require an electrical power source.

Ultrasonic nebulizers use ultrasonic waves to create your asthma medication into a liquid mist that is delivered to the lungs. These nebulizers do not require an additional liquid other than your asthma medication so the treatment time is often less than with a jet nebulizer. These nebulizers are often, smaller, more compact, portable and battery powered- making treatments and travel easier.

Examples of ultrasonic nebulizers include:

  • Beetle Neb
  • Lumiscope
  • Minibreeze

Mesh nebulizers are the fastest and most expensive of all the nebulizers. These nebulizers force your asthma medication through a mesh screen to produce a liquid mist that you can inhale into the lungs. While these nebulizers offer many of the conveniences of ultrasonic nebulizers, the mesh can sometimes get clogged or break- putting your asthma control in jeopardy. The fine mists make them among the most efficient in delivering medication.

Examples of mesh nebulizers include :

  • eFlow
  • MicroAIR/NE-U22
  • I-neb

Before Taking This Medicine

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Sodium Chloride,.

To make sure Sodium Chloride,, is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • any type of ;

  • if you have recently had surgery; or

  • if you are on a low-salt diet.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Sodium Chloride, inhalation is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether sodium chloride passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Is It Bad To Use An Inhaler Too Much

In particular, unless you have a known serious heart condition, there is no danger to your heart when using bronchodilator inhalers with this frequency for a short period of time. There is a risk from using your bronchodilator inhalers too much , but the danger is not to your heart.

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Are Nebulizers Ok To Use At Home

Sometimes patients have difficulty using handheld inhalers and instead use nebulizers, which turn liquid medicine into a mist. Particularly when the patient is experiencing severe asthma symptoms, nebulizers can be more effective at delivering medication slowly into the airways.

The current concern about nebulizers is that if they are used by a patient with a respiratory infection, the nebulizer could aerosolize droplets containing virus, allowing the virus to stay in the air longer. Hospitals and other facilities are being advised to reduce their use of nebulizers to reduce spread of the new coronavirus.

If an asthma patient finds that nebulized therapy is more effective than inhalers, the nebulizer should be used in a room that is isolated from other household members.

What Happens If You Take Albuterol And You Dont Need It

Albuterol comes with risks if you dont take it as prescribed. If you stop taking the drug or dont take it at all: If you dont take albuterol at all, your asthma might get worse. This can lead to irreversible scarring of your airway. You ll likely have shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.

Sodium Chloride Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: ; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregiver right away if you have:

  • chest pain, trouble breathing;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • tiredness, muscle twitching;

  • confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased or decreased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling.

Other common side effects may include a salty taste or slight burning or irritation in your mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Sodium chloride side effects

Why Is Truneb The Best Nebulizer For Asthma

Easy to Follow Nebulizer Instructions for COPD Patients

Our advanced nebulizer is designed for hassle-free use and maximum convenience for all ages. Its the simplest nebulizer for everyone and anyone to use. Nebulizers can help people who suffer from asthma by reducing the number and severity of attacks, and allowing you to manage your breathing better. Learn why people are calling TruNeb the best nebulizer for asthma

Try our TruNeb nebulizer risk-free today. If youre not 100% satisfied with your purchase, well refund you or send a replacement within 30 days. 

Who Can And Cannot Use Salbutamol Inhalers

Salbutamol can be used by adults and children of all ages.

Salbutamol is not suitable for people with certain health problems.

Check with your doctor before starting salbutamol if you:

  • have had an allergic reaction to salbutamol or any other medicines in the past
  • take other medicines including ones you buy from a pharmacy, herbal remedies or supplements
  • have a rare inherited digestive disorder of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactase malabsorption. This is because many salbutamol products contain lactose. Do not have lactose if you have these conditions

If you have a lactose intolerance, however, the amount of lactose in salbutamol products is too small to cause you any problems.

When You Should Pack Your Portable Nebulizer

The last thing you want is to be without your breathing treatment when you need it most. If you plan on traveling on an airplane and any of these situations apply to you, then you should pack your portable nebulizer in your luggage.

  • You recently had a flare-up: If you have recently had a flare-up of your COPD or asthma or other chronic respiratory condition, it would be wise of you to bring your portable nebulizer machine. This will ensure that you have access to treatment when you need it most.
  • The time of year: If you know that you are susceptible to breathing symptoms during a certain time of year, you should take your treatment with you anytime you travel during that time.
  • You will be gone for an extended time: An extended time can vary from person to person and how often they normally use treatment. If you regularly use your nebulizer for breathing treatments, you should consider bringing it.


You should always air on the side of caution and bring your nebulizer if you think you will need it. Even if you do not end up using it, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Can I Keep Using Steroid Medications

A few patients have told me they stopped their inhaled corticosteroid medication because they were concerned that the steroids would suppress their immune systems. Thats exactly what asthma doctors dont want to hear.

Asthma controller therapies reduce the frequency and severity of everyday asthma symptoms as well as asthma attacks. Stopping asthma controllers can increase the likelihood of a severe asthma attack when exposed to a trigger, such as a virus or allergen. An asthma attack, even if unrelated to COVID-19, may result in an emergency room visit, which can then increase risk of exposure to COVID-19.

For patients with COVID-19, the messages about corticosteroids can be confusing. In SARS and MERS, as well as emerging studies on COVID-19, corticosteroids have not been shown to have a survival benefit. The World Health Organization and the CDC recommend that corticosteroids not be used routinely to treat viral pneumonia or ARDS due to COVID-19.

However, if a patient has an asthma attack, regardless of whether the trigger is COVID-19, corticosteroids are usually effective and should be used.

What Is A Nebulizer Machine And How Does It Work

Nebulizer machines are electric devices that turn liquid medicinelike albuterol, an asthma medicineinto a fine mist. Then, the mist travels down a tube and comes out through a mouthpiece or mask. For people who need medication to reach their lungs directly, nebulizers are a great option. Nebulized therapy, which is often called a breathing treatment, is an especially convenient way to administer asthma medication to children or others who find it challenging to use an inhaler.

Nebulizers help treat many conditions like:

  • Asthma and asthma attacks: Spasms of the airways that are usually caused by an allergic reaction.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease : A chronic inflammatory lung disease that blocks airflow from the lungs. 
  • Cystic fibrosis: A hereditary condition in which the body makes thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and pancreas.
  • Other respiratory diseases and coughing spells

Nebulizers help treat these conditions by allowing prescribed medications to reach the lungs, where theyre absorbed and can quickly alleviate symptoms. Medications commonly prescribed by physicians for use in nebulizers include:

  • Beta2-agonists : A drug that widens the airways of the lungs to increase airflow in those with breathing problems. Short-acting beta-agonists can provide fast relief to asthma symptoms.
  • Corticosteroids: A steroid that stops inflammation to prevent asthma symptoms.
  • Antibiotics: Inhaled antibiotics treat airway infections.

How Do I Monitor My Daily Asthma Symptoms

National asthma guidelines suggest using a daily symptom diary such as Allergy & Asthma Networks AsthmaTracker to keep track of symptoms, peak expiratory flow rates and medications used.

What is an AsthmaTracker?

The AsthmaTracker can help your track how well your symptoms respond to your treatment plan. By writing down your symptoms, peak expiratory flow rate and medication use each day, youll notice a pattern to your symptoms and develop strategies to stop the symptoms before they can stop you.

What is a peak flow meter?

A peak flow meter is a handheld device that measures the peak expiratory flow rate , or how much air you can forcibly push out of your lungs at a particular time.

Asthma Storylines an app for managing asthma

The free Asthma Storylines app is a self-care tool for managing asthma. Track symptoms, learn more about daily patterns and record topics to discuss with your healthcare team.

What Kind Of Nebulizer Is Right For Me

Which kind of nebulizer is best for you depends on your lifestyle. If you are constantly on the move then a smaller model that you can fit in your bag or hold in your hand will be more convenient. If you will be taking your medication in the same place each day for example at home or the office then a bigger asthma nebulizer can be kept on the table. Whichever model you decide is right for you, the most important thing is to use it as prescribed, as it helps you breathe easy.


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